Nursery Inspiration-Whites and Brights


I’ll be the first to admit, this whole idea of a nursery is new to me, at least in real life. Nurseries were the stuff of storybooks- magical rooms reserved for children who had fat nannies that wore starched white aprons.

I had never really heard people use the word until I got hooked on the design blogs. Aren’t they just bedrooms? I’m pretty sure no one ever called my childhood bedroom, ‘the nursery.’ Either way, baby rooms are serious business and cost to set up can easily get out of hand when oooohing and ahhhhing over those precious elements that you want your perfect little person to have.

But let’s be honest- aren’t they really for us? We pick the colors and pieces that appeal to us in the hopes our little one will appreciate our taste, or perhaps we completely don’t care if it appeals to them because, hey, its one more room that we get to decorate.

Unfortunately, I did not appreciate my mom’s taste as a child. Three painted pink walls with a fourth wall of pink flowered wallpaper adorned my room for my entire childhood. And sturdy pink wool carpeting that my mom refused to update until I was 17 because apparently anything besides that pink carpet was of the they-don’t-make-them-like-they-used-to variety. Nevermind the fact that I developed an aversion for all things pink and girly very early on. In my last year of high school, when I was almost ready to move away to college, Mom gave in and got me a cream colored carpet that she was sure didn’t measure up to the ancient pink one and we painted the walls in a neutral to match.

I felt liberated.

Keeping in mind my childhood angst over the pink, I’d like to be able to update Isla’s nursery at some point when she has some input. This means keeping costs under control for round one and investing in a few pieces that I hope she won’t outgrow too quickly, as well as keeping in mind simple elements that could be swapped out. In all honesty, we experienced Isla’s first months of life without a nursery, so I’ll be the first to admit most of this is not necessary. In fact, Isla still sleeps in our room, but we do spend a lot of play time in hers.

I had it in my mind that I wanted yellow and white either on the floors or walls before I ever found any inspiration pieces. I also envisioned white and birch furniture and wanted my beloved vintage bird painting in rainbow colors to be an anchor point. From there, I pieced together other elements that kept with the ‘whites and brights’ theme. The wall covering and rug and most every other item I fell in love with were wildly expensive (of course they were) so locating budget-friendly doppelgangers to match my virtual vision took some effort.

Unfortunately, the room has been in progress for months due to to my suggestion that we (ahem, that being James. I hold the baby) replace the icky old baseboards. It turned out to be a massive project pulling baseboards off of old plaster walls and attaching new ones flush to the walls. I won’t bore you with those details now but know that I owe James huge for humoring me on this one.  The remaining problem is that now the sleek baseboards in the nursery look so much better than those in the rest of the house, so um, it only seemed appropriate to replace all of those too.

Now that the baseboard fiasco is over, we are getting closer to being finished with Isla’s room. However, its tough to make time decorating a nursery once you have a baby. My hope is to have this room finally done by her 21st 1st birthday. Its shaping up nicely and is currently my favorite room in the house.


Inspiration pieces, clockwise from left:

vintage bird painting: Modern Mobler

yellow and white rug: Bev Hisey

mobile: Dagmar’s Designs

wallpaper: AphroChic

floating credenza/fauxdenza: The Animal Print Shop. (The credenza was not sold there, but it was the first place that inspired me to make one).

elephant stool: Eames

crib: Oeuf

whale painting: Eli Halpin

rocking chair: NurseryWorks. My original inspiration was actually a vintage teak mid century rocker from Yugoslavia. James discouraged me from purchasing it while we still lived in the studio, and I might just hold it against him forever.

Did you obsess over decorating your baby’s nursery? Spend a lot? Or not give it a second thought?

2 thoughts on “Nursery Inspiration-Whites and Brights

    1. I knew you’d respond :-) not a fail. I’ve always been a fussy kid! And I’m already wishing Isla’s rug was sturdy and wool like my old one! I’m all for durability now that I’m and old, practical parent.

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